Youth-Nex Graduate Students
Current Youth-Nex Graduate Students
Julia Augestern - [email protected]
Julia Augenstern graduated from Tulane University in 2015 with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. As an undergraduate and following graduation she worked as a research assistant for ProjectDIRECT, a Tulane-affiliated dissemination and implementation research lab studying early childhood education and well-being. From May of 2015 to April of 2017 Julia served as the Clinical Program Director for Child and Adolescent services at a community mental health center in New Orleans, LA. Julia initiated her doctoral studies in the Curry School of Education's Clinical and School Psychology Ph.D. Program in the fall of 2017 under the mentorship of Dr. Patrick Tolan. Her research interests include youth and social and emotional well-being and the inclusion of client perception in intervention design.
Paris Ball - [email protected]
Paris Ball graduated Magna Cum Laude from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. During her undergraduate career, Paris conducted Neuropsychological research at Northwestern University and Pennsylvania State University. After graduation, Paris was selected to be a 2013 corps member for Teach For America (TFA) where she taught 8th grade at a Title 1 school in Dallas, TX. Upon completing TFA, Paris worked for an educational non-profit organization where she provided on-going support and professional development for teachers. In May 2019, Paris graduated with her Masters of Education in School Psychology from Georgia State University (GSU). At GSU, Paris researched Black girls’ responses to peer conflicts in the Center for Research on School Safety, School Climate, and Classroom Management. In Fall 2019, Paris began her doctoral studies in the Clinical and School Psychology program with Dr. Chauncey Smith as her advisor. Paris’ research interests center around the holistic development of Black girls within families, school, and communities. Also, how gender and identity beliefs support psychological resilience among Black girls.
Janelle Billingsley - [email protected]
Janelle Billingsley is a doctoral student in the Community Psychology program through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She received her B.A. in Psychology from North Carolina Central University in 2016 and a M.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2019. Her overarching research interests concern the promotion of healthy adolescent development among marginalized youth with a focus on the examination of supportive intergenerational relationships as a pre-existing strength in youths’ lives. She is currently investigating the role of broader contextual factors to determine the consequences of broader family dynamics on Black youths’ ability to form supportive relationships with non-parental family adults.
Meghan Clifford - [email protected]
Meghan Clifford graduated from Duke University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and minors in Global Health and Education. During her undergraduate career, she worked under the direction of Dr. Steven Asher studying peer relations. She completed her undergraduate honors thesis on the associations between social-cognition, aggression, and friendship quality. In 2017, Meghan began her graduate studies in Curry’s clinical and school psychology program under the mentorship of Dr. Catherine Bradshaw. Meghan is interested in school-based interventions for aggressive behavior. In particular, she wants to explore the role of cognitive processing patterns in aggression.-
Alissa Diamond - [email protected]
David Freire - [email protected]
Elana Jablon - [email protected]
Elana Jablon graduated from Northwestern University in 2013 with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and International Studies and a minor in Spanish. While in college, she worked in labs focused on Developmental, Social, and Clinical Psychology. After graduation, she taught high school through Teach for America in Prince George's County, MD for two years. While teaching she developed and implemented for Spanish and the World Languages program. She then taught middle school Spanish in Washington, DC, serving as Spanish department chair and creating curriculum for the language department as well as a 6th grade advisor. After she worked as a volunteer on a crisis hotline for the greater DC and Northern Virginia region. She began her doctoral studies in the Fall of 2017 under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Lyons. Her research interests include middle school mentoring programs and culturally responsive mentoring practices.
Haley Johnson - [email protected]
Haley Johnson is a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science. She graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois and an M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from the University of Virginia. Haley’s research focuses on how relationships support young people and the different method we can use for understanding those relationships. In addition, she examines the ways youth “learn race” through peer group interactions.
Sarah Kassabian - [email protected]
Sarah Kassabian graduated from Boston College in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. After graduating, she worked at Massachusetts General Hospital as a clinical research coordinator in the Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Adult ADHD clinical and research program. Her work focused on pediatric behavior and mood disorders, particularly on ADHD in the school setting. Her current research and clinical interests include positive youth development and mental health in schools. Sarah began her graduate work in the fall of 2018 in the UVA Curry Programs in Clinical and School Psychology with Michael Lyons, PhD as her research advisor.
Abigail Kayser - [email protected]
Abigail Amoako Kayser, PhD, is a postdoctoral research associate at the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. She is a Fulbright Scholar and a former elementary teacher in Charlottesville City Schools and Albemarle County Public Schools. Through her research and teaching, she aims to advance our understanding of how teachers ensure equitable and anti-racist educational experiences and outcomes for historically marginalized students in the U.S. and Ghana.
Jacqueline Keiffer - [email protected]
Andrea Negrete - [email protected]
Andrea Negrete is a graduate student in the Community Psychology doctoral program at the University of Virginia. Andrea received her B.A. in Psychology and her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington, Seattle. Andrea’s research centers on the promotion of healthy adolescent development with a focus on Latinx adolescents and emerging adults. Her dissertation examines the effects of immigration enforcement on Latinx immigrant emerging adult well-being, identity, and critical consciousness. Her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship.
Alison Nagel - [email protected]
Theresa Pfister - [email protected]
Theresa Pfister is a Ph.D. student in Educational Psychology - Applied Developmental Science from Friendship, Wisconsin, studying adolescence, the importance of relationships, and equity. An educator first and foremost, she believes deeply in the importance of working in partnership and utilizing research as a tool of empowerment. Before coming to the University of Virginia, Theresa was a teacher-trainer with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, a 4th grade teacher in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and a College Advisor at SEO Scholars in Manhattan.
Meredith Powers - [email protected]
Meredith Powers graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2015 with a combined B.S./M.Ed. in Special Education and a minor in Human Development. Following graduation, she worked as a special educator in Montgomery County Public Schools and as a clinical research coordinator in the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (CASD) at Children’s National Health System. At CASD, she conducted classroom observations to evaluate the effectiveness of middle and high school executive function interventions. Meredith began her doctoral studies in Fall 2018 under the mentorship of Dr. Catherine Bradshaw. Meredith’s research interests include how to effectively address disproportionate punishment of minority students, promote culturally-responsive classroom management, and implement school-wide prevention programs. Meredith is committed to diversifying the field of clinical-school psychology and welcomes any and all questions regarding the application and interview process. She is also happy to share career insights regarding her path from K-12 educator to psychologist-in-training for those looking to make a similar transition.
Ariana Rivens - [email protected]
Ariana J. Rivens is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program through the Graduate Schools of Arts and Sciences and is under the mentorship of Dr. Noelle Hurd. She received her B.A. in psychology with a minor in social and economic justice from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018. Her research interests include positive youth development, processes of risk and resilience among marginalized youth, and the creation of positive institutional climates in colleges and universities.
Daniel Satterthwaite - [email protected]
Edward Scott - [email protected]
Edward Scott Jr. is an Institute of Education Sciences pre-doctoral affiliate fellow in Curry’s Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Science program. Prior to doctoral study, Edward served students and families as a social worker in an urban school district, facilitating the expansion of trauma-informed care practices and school culture improvement initiatives. His professional background includes clinical mental health services, youth program development, and management consulting. He earned a B.A. in psychology from William Jewell College, an MSW in clinical social work from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA in organizational development and leadership from the Rockhurst University Helzberg School of Management. Edward is interested in adolescent leadership identity and sociopolitical development research. Under the mentorship of Drs. Nancy Deutsch and Chauncey Smith, Edward will begin exploring the relational and organizational contexts that effectively promote youth leadership, activism, civic engagement, and psycho-social wellbeing.
Miray Seward - [email protected]
Miray Seward is an Institute of Education Sciences pre-doctoral fellow in the Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Science program at the Curry School of Education. Miray received her B.A. in psychology and human development from Duke University in 2014. Prior to starting her doctoral studies, Miray spent a year as a project/research coordinator in the Motivate Lab and two years as a lab manager in the Language Development Lab and Wilbourn Infant Lab at Duke University. Currently, Miray’s research examines the experiences Black female student-athletes and how identity is developed in the context of athletics and academics
Sydney Simmons - [email protected]
Sydney Simmons graduated from Georgetown University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in English. After graduation, Sydney worked as a consultant for the federal government prior to returning to school to obtain a master's degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard's Graduate School of Education. At both Georgetown and Harvard, Sydney served as a research assistant, studying early childhood development and social and emotional learning. In 2018, Sydney began her doctoral studies in the Curry School of Education and Human Development's Clinical and School Psychology Ph.D. program under the mentorship of Dr. Patrick Tolan. Her research interests include the design, implementation, and evaluation of family- and community-based interventions, with a particular focus on parenting.
Lara Spiekermann - [email protected]
Lara Spiekermann graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. As an undergraduate she worked as a research assistant with the Virginia Institute of Development into Adulthood project. After graduation Lara worked as coordinator for The Family Prevention Of Adolescent Alcohol, Drug Use, and Psychopathology for a year. In 2016 she completed her Master’s of Education in Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education where she worked as a graduate research assistant on the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP); a mentoring program that pairs at-risk adolescent girls with UVA undergraduate women. Lara will begin her doctoral work in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Edith “Winx” Lawrence as her advisor where she will continue her work on youth mentoring with YWLP. Her research interests include positive youth development and the formation of successful mentoring relationships.
Supriya Williamson - [email protected]
Supriya Williamson graduated from The George Washington University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs. After graduation, she served for three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana. While in the Peace Corps, Supriya focused on HIV/AIDS prevention by teaching life skills at a rural primary school and working at a non-profit organization which provides counseling and support to at-risk youth. In 2015, Supriya began her doctoral work in Clinical and School Psychology with Dr. Edith “Winx” Lawrence as her advisor. Supriya has been working with her advisor on the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP), a mentoring program that pairs at-risk adolescent girls with UVA undergraduate women. In YWLP, Supriya has helped with curriculum development focused specifically on expanding the Global Connections and science and engineering components. Her research interests include positive youth development and the long-term outcomes for youth involved in mentoring programs.
Taina Quiles - [email protected]
Taina B. Quiles graduated from Fordham University in 2014, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. As an undergraduate she focused on developmental research with a focus on youth participatory action research. Later, she participated in the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in Pittsburgh to learn more about community initiated social change. Now, Taina is a doctoral student in the Community Psychology student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and works primarily with Dr. Leath. Her research prioritizes racial healing work by illuminating the resistance that Black and Latinx adolescents demonstrate in the face of oppression. She is specifically interested in how these youth’s ethnic-racial identity, critical consciousness, and sociopolitical development help them navigate inequities they face in the school system.